How to Succeed in the New Media Journalism Master's Degree Program
Published on Oct 1, 2017 by Amy Cassell
Journalism may not be notebooks and typewriters anymore, but the ability to tell a great story remains the foundation of a good journalist. While Full Sail’s New Media Journalism master of arts degree program explores the various forms journalism can take today – online, in print, on-air – it is still, at its core, a traditional journalism degree program for writers.
“This degree is designed for content creators,” says Ryan Kitelyn, Full Sail’s New Media Journalism program director. “It’s for students that want to tell a story, and want to learn how to use modern, 21st century tools to get the job done.”
New Media Journalism grads have pursued many opportunities post-graduation, as multimedia reporters, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and more. (Grad Lee Roberts, for example, is a Public Affairs Chief in the U.S. military; and Leah Beilhart’s photography was recently featured in Modern Luxury magazine.) “Most students are curious,” says Kitelyn. “They see things other people don’t see, and look at different angles to the story. You’ve got to be able to tell a story effectively, and give it a different spin.”
Here are some of the traits and skills you need to bring to the table – or in this case, the online classroom – to succeed in the New Media Journalism program:
Before entering the New Media Journalism program, you’ve definitely got to have a passion for writing – and some writing experience is beneficial. “You don’t have to know all the software – we can teach you that,” says Kiteyln. “But we can’t teach you how to be curious and interesting. You’ve got to have a go-getter personality.”
Be Ready For: Students should expect to spend 20-30 hours per week on their coursework. “Depending on your background, some courses may be a little bit easier,” Kitelyn says. “For fast writers, Writing for Interactive Media may be very easy … but Developing and Editing might take longer.” During the program, you’ll choose a specific beat, and the final project consists of creating a multimedia package (stories, photos, video) that revolves around it. The biggest perk? It’s a bona fide digital portfolio that you can present to future employers post-graduation.
Some other skills great New Media Journalism students have: solid research skills, a knack for self-motivation, and a good handle on time management, which is one of the most important skills to master while at Full Sail. The university’s accelerated track means you’re getting a master’s degree in one year instead of the typical two. It’s a huge benefit – you’ll get a head start in the industry and only focus on one relevant course per month – but it requires commitment and organization.
More Keys to Success: “Our best students are the ones worried about the content and becoming better versus worrying about grades,” says Kitelyn. “Lots of students with history, finance, chemistry, and design [undergraduate] degrees do just as well [in this program] as people with journalism degrees. You just need curiosity and a passion for content creation.”
More questions? Check out the New Media Journalism degree page here or call an admissions representative at 800.226.7625.